6. Sensing God: Seeing His Body Work

6. Sensing God: Seeing His Body Work

6. Sensing God: Seeing His Body Work.

All Christian believers trust in the obvious fact that Jesus had a real human body. As St. John said in 1 John 1:1, “We saw Him with our own eyes!” Thousands of people literally saw Jesus. They saw Him at work and at rest. They saw Him around the campfire, in the Temple, on the water. They saw Him, but they never describe Him. We don’t know if Jesus was tall or short, skinny or husky, light or dark. Being a Hebrew, He was no doubt darkish and bearded and long-haired. Since He was the “son of David,” He might have inherited David’s strawberry blond hair. But we just don’t know. We have never seen Him, and nobody bothered to describe Him.

But we do know the sorts of things Jesus did with His body… He preached, taught, touched, healed, walked long distances, made breakfast. We also know His body was beaten and tortured, that He bled and died. The body of Jesus had a lot of mileage on it before He gave up His Spirit. We know that His resurrected body could somehow walk right through walls and locked doors and do a disappearing act. We know that He chose to keep His scars as identifying marks for those who doubted. We have a pretty good knowledge of what His body did, but we don’t know what He looked like. Were His followers afraid that if we knew what He looked like, we would make a golden idol of His likeness and worship that instead of Him? We won’t know what Jesus really looked like till we see Him face to face at the Wedding Feast, where He will be the genial host. For many of those who saw Jesus, seeing was believing. They were convinced by watching Him at work. Strangely, though, many who did literally see Jesus still didn’t believe in Him. They were spiritually blinded. For us, it’s not a matter of seeing as much as trusting. For us, trusting is believing, not seeing.

But wait, Jesus did leave us His body. His body on earth is now the Church, the functioning group of believers who live in His name and with His power. Mysteriously, if we want to see the body of Christ now, we look at each other. His new body on earth can now do what His old body did. We are able through His Holy Spirit to continue His works on earth. In fact, Jesus once said that believers would do “even greater works” than He did! (John 14:12). But how can we possibly top His multiplying of bread and fish, walking on water, and raising people from the dead? Evidently, our greater works are focused on quantity, no quality. We can’t try to do greater miracles than Jesus. There is nothing greater. But since He was only one body who chose to limit Himself geographically, we can spread the Word farther than He did. We can do greater works because we have millions of bodies in His body, and we can go anywhere in the world. On top of that, Jesus only had three years of ministry. With all our bodies in His body, there is no limit to the number of years we can be in ministry, until He calls us home. Besides that, he could only communicate with a limited group of people at a time. With modern technology and travel, His body now has unlimited range and access to people around the world. The Apostles made an amazing start to doing greater works. In the first century alone, the Faith spread from believing Jews to gentiles in 39 cities and 30 different countries or provinces. The Apostles wasted no time in doing greater works than Jesus.

Jesus didn’t say believers would do “greater miracles”, but “greater works.” We would take the Faith and spread it farther than Jesus could ever do by Himself. But that is still not the bottom line. Our salvation doesn’t spring from the ability to evangelize. One time, the disciples asked Jesus, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” And Jesus offered a clear answer to that question, “The work you can do for God starts with believing in the One He has sent.” (John 6:28-29).  In order to do greater works than Jesus, we need to see that every greater work must come out of our most fundamental work…. believing in Christ. Greater works will issue forth from that main work. Believing in Jesus and joining His body on earth will strengthen our faith. Seeing the Lord at work in each of us and in the world helps us to mature in our belief. Seeing the Spirit of Jesus at work in the body of Jesus confirms our faith. So, seeing is believing, after all.